We can’t wait another 100 years to End Diabetes

Toronto, Jan. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This year marks the 100th anniversary since the revolutionary Canadian discovery of insulin, but it is not a cure. Diabetes continues to take the lives of Canadians and the prevalence rates are alarming with one in three Canadians living with or at risk of diabetes and our youth aged 20 years old have a 50 per cent chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.

The COVID-19 pandemic is hindering care, heightening consequences, and putting people with diabetes at a three times higher risk of dying from COVID-19. With a sense of urgency and the understanding that despite the help of insulin, diabetes is successful at taking over the country, Diabetes Canada is launching a bold fundraising and awareness campaign, We Can’t Wait Another 100 Years to End Diabetes.

“The discovery of insulin in Canada ranks among the leading achievements of medical research,” says Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “Although insulin has enabled an incredible change in life expectancy and quality of life for millions of people around the world, it isn’t a cure. It is a treatment. More than ever, the millions of Canadians with or at risk of diabetes need our support. We can’t wait another 100 years and we hope Canadians will support us and help to end diabetes.”

Beginning in January 2021 and running until 2022, the campaign will recognize the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize winning scientific achievement by Sir Frederick Banting, Charles Best, JJR Macleod and James Collip, while also reminding Canadians about the serious and sometimes deadly consequences of the disease and the success it continues to have in leading to other chronic illness including blindness, heart attack and stroke, amputation and kidney failure. Through the campaign, Diabetes Canada will engage in a national conversation: although the 100th anniversary is an incredible discovery; insulin is not enough. It’s the starting line, not the finish line for diabetes.

As Canada’s largest charitable organization dedicated to supporting people living with all forms of diabetes, which was started by Charles Best in 1940, Diabetes Canada is looking to mobilize other healthcare, research and community partners, industry, government, and all Canadians to finally end diabetes.

Banting House—the National Historic Site of Canada (owned and operated by Diabetes Canada)—is among the many engaging in the campaign. “While we have better insulin today than we did 100 years ago when it was first discovered, we still don’t have anything better than insulin,” says Grant Maltman, Curator of Banting House. “People living with diabetes from across the globe have visited the birthplace of insulin on a pilgrimage to see where the idea for their life-saving treatment was conceived and reminded us that the discovery itself is not the end of the story.”

“The discovery of insulin has enabled me to live with diabetes for the last 20 years, but our country has done too little to maintain its position as a global leader in diabetes care as Canada ranks among the worst countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for the number of diabetes cases per capita,” says Brooks Roche who is living with type 1 diabetes and who is a member of the Prime Minister's Youth Council from Charlottetown, PEI.  “We owe it to our history and to our country to invest in a major systemic change to help End Diabetes.”

 Diabetes Facts: 

  • Close to 11.5 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in those 20-65 years of age. 
  • Diabetes contributes to 30% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failure requiring dialysis.
  • Diabetes is the cause of 70 per cent of all non-traumatic limb amputations.
  • Having diabetes can shorten one’s lifespan by five to 15 years.
  • Diabetes is successful at taking money out of Canadians’ pockets, costing $30 billion dollars to treat.
  • The ongoing pandemic has added to the anxieties around diabetes, with one-third of Canadians saying they are now more concerned about diabetes than they were before.
  • Adults living with diabetes who contract COVID-19 are at greater risk of developing serious symptoms and complications, like pneumonia, and they are almost three times more likely to die in hospital.

 All those visiting diabetes.ca/enddiabetes can learn more, get involved with the campaign and donate.


 About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools, and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

 For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).



We can't wait another 100 years to End Diabetes.

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